Liverpool is set to be the location for the launch of next week’s Wales Rally GB, as the event gets underway out of Wales for the first time since 1999.

The twelfth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship will begin from outside the city’s iconic Royal Liver Building next Thursday afternoon with several activities including an autograph session and interviews with the leading drivers also set to take place.

Photo Credit: Motorsport UK

Beginning at 3pm, the event gets properly underway an hour later as the cars and crews are flagged away from the start line and they then move on to Oulton Park for the opening stage of the rally before another three days of action throughout the Welsh forests.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Anna Rothery said on the upcoming launch: “Liverpool thrives on major events, and the spectacle of nearly 60 rally cars lined up on our UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront is going to be a stunning sight!”

“This is the first time in 20 years that the event has taken place outside of Wales, so it’s a huge coup for Liverpool to host the Grand Depart and I am looking forward to meeting as many drivers as I can and welcoming them to the city.”

She added: “I encourage as many people as possible to head to the waterfront for this free event, and enjoy the high-octane atmosphere as some of the world’s best rally drivers start their world championship challenge.”

Photo Credit:@World/MotorsportUK

Despite taking place for over 70 years, Rally GB has never began in Liverpool and Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK added ahead of next week’s round of the WRC: “Rallying is an extreme sport staged in the great outdoors, so it’s incredibly important that we create a showcase like this to reach new audiences right in the heart of the city.”

“Thursday is going to be a wonderful opportunity for all those in Liverpool to come and see the WRC drivers and their amazing machines up close. I’m sure they will be impressed by what they see, and hopefully it will inspire some to travel to Oulton Park that evening; or even venture into the Welsh forests for the main rally action over the weekend.”

Wales Rally GB takes place next weekend, beginning on Thursday October 3.

Source: The Checkered Flag